Break the cycle and cut the cord
Many of us, including myself, have had our own experiences in life that has led us to have problems with confidence and self-esteem issues. This has manifested itself into patterns of behaviour where one keeps repeating experiences that feel 'comfortable' but are in fact 'uncomfortable'. There is indeed a familiarity around being attracted to something even that is toxic for us, because of it being what we know. In other words, the unacceptable has indeed become the acceptable.
So what does this mean to those of us who recognise our repeated behaviours or attractions? Why is it we keep just going back for more of something which we know is going to only cause further harm to us and damage our self-esteem and failing confidence?
Feeling 'not good enough' which most of the time commenced in our childhood and we innocently have accepted as being normal, was of course not our fault. As I often try to get across to clients, you weren't to blame and you weren't to know. Why should you have known anything different? After all, the people that you trusted implicitly let you down.
It seems like the echoes of the past are always there. Like the sea, the waves rise and wash over us reminding us of all the qualities we may lack and seems to whisper to us 'told you so'. As the tide ebbs away it has yet again captured us and once again we are 'hooked' into that negative thought pattern. In those moments we are reminded of our own vulnerability.
For the clients that seek therapy, it has taken years of them accepting the unacceptable before one may have realised they are 'stuck' in the same type of relationships. These maybe repeated episodes of one night stands, repeated attractions to the fantasy of affairs with married people that simply were never going to have a happy outcome, the physically abusive ones where one soon learns about the cycle of abuse, in fact repeating anything that brings us back to self harming ones soul.
So what do we do now that one has identified what is happening? We begin to see our patterns of behaviour through our sessions. We start to comprehend the horror of our pasts yet one cant see a way out of it.
Sometimes we have to start by putting all our bundles of anxieties and hurt into a metaphoric wheelbarrow or side car. We have to start to go against what seems normal for us. So by 'acting' being confident and learning to do it anyway however uncomfortable it feels means we are starting to challenge our fears. Only by cutting the cord with our toxic relationships can we move forward.
Working with my clients with these issues I liken it to my training at stage school, "The show must go on!". We panic and feel nauseous as overture and beginners is called in the wings, but we still perform on stage and no one in the audience sees our nerves. In fact they may envy our 'confidence'.
So we start to act out confidence. We apply for the job that we always wanted but the fear of rejection stopped us, we start to look for a different type relationship, we stop the one night stands that made us feel worthless the following day. We act out 'confidence' until gradually it begins to feel acceptable.
There is no fast way to suddenly become confident but by acting it out and recognising that this is a challenge that we are going to embark on, will remarkably change your present and future life.
So, for those reading this article that feel they are in a similar situation and would like to make changes in your life, break the cycle and cut the cord.